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Correct Ladder Size Selection

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) state that Employers have a duty to assess the risks, plan and supervise all workers who work at height. You will find guidance about the regulations in: www.hse.gov.uk
Some of the key points related to ladder use are:

  • Always the follow the 1 in 4 rule i.e. 1 metre away from the wall for every 4 metres height. Keep 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times. Keep both feet on the same rung when working. On a leaning ladder do not use the top three rungs to avoid slippage.
  • Double sided ladders should only be climbed up to the third step/rung from the top, in order to maintain sufficient footing
  • Extension ladders should only be used up to the fifth rung from the top.
  • The height of step ladders with a platform and mobile safety steps should be selected so that the user can reach the maximum required working height without having to stretch out beyond the platform

Reach height:

BGI 694 defines reach height as the height that can be reached from the predetermined standing height for a specific model of ladder. This height equates to approx. 2.00 m above standing height.

Working height:

Working height is defined as the range for working at body height, e.g. with a drill. In order to account for the different working heights of each industrial sector, our catalogue assumes an average working height of 1.50 m above standing height.


  1. Standing height
  2. Reach height
  3. Working height
A simplified formula is derived from this definition*

  • Standing height + 1.50 m = working height
  • Standing height + 2.00 m = reach height

* This can vary depending on the model of ladder. Please observe the specifications in the technical tables in our catalogues.
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